Matty goes to a special camp in the summer.

After the school year Matty looks forward to the summer time because he has the opportunity to go to a special camp designed for autistic and special needs children. The name of his camp is called Camp Kehilla and it is affiliated with the Sid Jacobson JCC. Matthew has a full day at camp and he goes 5 days a week for about 6 weeks. It is the best 6 weeks of the summer for him. He participates in all kinds of activities and he makes some really good friends. On the nice sunny days he goes swimming in the pool for about 30-45 minutes under the supervision of lifeguards and he has a swimming instructor. After swimming Matty has ice cream or ice pop snacks and stays under some trees for shade with the kids in his group and the counselor. In addition he has arts and crafts activities where he draws on construction paper or he makes projects such as necklaces or paper airplanes and japanese origami.

On rainy days some trips are canceled and we have to stay in the shelter. Sometimes we go to music class or drama. We still have fun even though it’s raining. The only time I got upset when it rained was when our Splish Splash field trip was canceled. We had it rescheduled because of the bad weather and on the rescheduled day it rained again so we couldn’t go and we went to Atlantis. It was fun because I got to see all the fish and sharks which looked scary to me. They weren’t like Bruce the shark from Nemo but I called him Bruce anyway.

Matty’s camp day starts when the bus comes to pick him up and his bus ride is almost an hour long because they have to pick up a lot of children along the way and because it is a long ride. When he arrives at camp he says hello to the children waiting for the bus that takes them up the hill. Once they get there they line up and that’s when they go to the playground with their counselors. At the playground they play on the slide and talk to the boys and girls.

On special days after the playground they line up for the bus before going on a field trip. When they get on the bus they are happy and looking forward to the day’s field trip. We went to Adventureland 2 times and we went on some fun rides. We went on the train, the swings that go high, the ferris wheel, and the ladybug roller coaster. We ate lunch in the cafe before we went on the rides. We were there for about 2 hours. After Adventureland we went back to camp and went down to the swimming pool to cool off.

I also went to Citi Field in Queens to see the Mets play and we were there for about 3 hours or more. I sat with a counselor and the Mets won. It was a beautiful stadium and we had a very nice day. After the game we went to the JCC where mom came to pick me up and asked how my day was. I told her it was fun.

We also went bowling and had a good time even though I didn’t get a strike. I still enjoyed it because I was with other boys and girls and my counselor was very good to us. We had our pictures taken at camp on Picture Day and I made sure I smiled for the camera.

On one day my mom, grandma and my friend Daniella visited me at camp. I ate some of my lunch and I gave the rest to grandma. It was nice to see them and they got to see what I do at camp.

At camp we have long days and I feel tired when I get home but I am very happy because I had so much fun and I got to play with the other kids. I learned how to golf at camp and we went golfing on the campgrounds small golf course. I’m still learning how to swing the club but I liked the game. I went on a field trip to a miniature golf course and it was fun. I went to all 18 holes.

I also went on a field trip to the Westbury Theatre and I got to see Snow White as a play. I really enjoyed seeing the play and thought the actors did a great job. We all clapped when they bowed down to us.

I really enjoy my camp because we do a lot of things in the summer time and I get a chance to make new friends and see old friends from previous years and I learn a lot from my counselors who do a great job and are very nice to us. I also like the swimming because I like to cool off and splash in the water. The saddest part of camp is the last day when I have to say goodbye to all my friends and counselors and they always give me a hug and say we’ll see you next year. Sometimes I cry because I didn’t want camp to end so soon. It breaks my heart to say goodbye to all of my friends, counselors, unit head, bus driver and bus counselor. As a special thank you mom and dad acknowledged all the counselors and bus driver’s hard work with a little gift to thank them for making Matty’s summer so special. The End.

Matty Iannielli
With help from Dad

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